By Daniel Linke, University Archivist and Curator of Public Policy Papers, Seeley G. Mudd Manuscript Library, Princeton University
Courtesy of the Princeton University Library
The Mudd Library is pleased to announce that the final two series of the third subgroup of American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) records have been processed, and that the entire collection has been addressed is now available to the public. These materials join ACLU records long held at the Mudd Library: The Roger Baldwin Years, 1917–1950 and American Civil Liberties Union Records 1947–1995. As a whole, this collection documents the civil liberties organization’s work in areas including civil rights, children and women’s rights, freedom of speech (and all First Amendment questions), due process, the right to privacy, and church-state separation issues, and this third subgroup covers the years between 1975 and 2000 predominantly. The records are of vital historical and cultural importance to the nation, and we are grateful that the work on these records was supported by a grant from the National Historical Publications and Records Commission (NHPRC).
Founded in 1920, the ACLU’s mission is “to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed to every person in this country by the Constitution and laws of the United States.” The group has been integral in myriad landmark court cases since its inception, and the collection of new materials housed at Mudd consists, notably, of records from the Reproductive Freedom Project, the Women’s Rights Project, the Robert Bork Supreme Court nomination hearings, the Iran-Contra affair, and Texas v. Johnson (the 1990 flag-burning case). The newly available records also include over 300 boxes from the ACLU’s Southern Regional office, which handled many important civil rights cases
Adriane Hanson, who managed the processing of the new ACLU materials, began in June 2010, and with the help of several Princeton students, she inventoried and processed 2,500 linear, the single largest and fastest processing project in Mudd Library’s history. Mudd Library’s entire ACLU collection, which is its largest and most used, now spans about 4,200 linear feet.
For more information, read the Princeton Alumni Weekly’s article on these new records.